Prophets, saints, martyrs, sages, and seers--one of the richest repositories of lore about such exemplary religious figures belongs to the world's approximately 1.3 billion Muslims. Illuminating some of the most delightful tales in world religious literature, this engaging book is the first truly global overview of Islamic hagiography. John Renard tells of the characters beyond the Qur'an and Hadith, whose stories of piety and service to God and humanity have captured hearts and minds for nearly fourteen hundred years. Renard's thematic approach to the major characters, narratives, social and cultural contexts, and theoretical concepts of this remarkable treasury of tales, based on material ranging from the eighth to the twentieth centuries and from countries ranging from Morocco to Malaysia, provides insight into the ways in which these stories have functioned in the lives of Muslims from diverse cultural, social, economic, and political backgrounds. The book also serves as a useful and evocative tool for approaching the vast geographical and chronological sweep of Islamic civilization.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations Preface Introduction: An Overview of Islamic Hagiography I. STAGES IN THE LIVES OF GOD'S FRIENDS 1. Beginnings Both Humble and Spectacular 2.Conversion and Asceticism on the Road to Sanctity 3. Dreams and Visions, Visitors and Voices: God in Touch with His Friends 4. Miracles and Marvels: God Working through His Friends 5. Mere Mortals: Friends and the Human Condition II. FRIENDS OF GOD IN CONTEXT 6. Friends and Their People: Society and Service to Communities 7. Founding Friends: Authority, Institutions, and the Economics of Intentional Community 8. Where God's Friends Walked: Revered Sites and Ritual Settings 9. Friends in Our World III. FRIENDS IN THEORY: UNDERSTANDING THE STORIES 10. Literary Dimensions: Genre, Function, and Hermeneutics 11. Theological Dimensions: Hagiography, Faith, and Controversy Notes Index
John Renard is Professor of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He is author of Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims, Windows on the House of Islam (both from UC Press) and All the King's Falcons: Rumi on Prophets and Revelation among many other books.